Dr. Turner's Blog

A Follow Up to “Don’t Be Scared”


In my last blog I emphasized my positivity even in the face of the Novel Coronavirus.

Every month, scientists learn more to share with us about the infectivity and morbidity of this virus.

Some symptoms of COVID-19 have been added to the original list of dry cough, fever, breathing difficulty, fatigue and sore body. Delirium and confusion, the worsening of conditions already suffered, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of smell and conjunctivitis (red eye) are now considerations for seeking testing.

And concerning kids. . .children 14 and under are rarely infected. There are exceptions and there are reports of even infants being infected. And sadly, children have died of COVID-19. That children might carry the infection and be symptom free is not proven. The rules of social distancing apply to everyone including kids.

*Now doctors at CHEO are looking out for cases of hyperinflammatory shock in children, which appears to be a post-infection syndrome related to COVID-19. To date there have been no cases in Ottawa. Montreal, New York and the UK have reported cases.

There are studies being released about the co-morbidity of many diseases and COVID-19.

Some of these conditions include diabetes including Type II, oxidative stress, heart disease, kidney and liver diseases, sleep apnea, GI reflux, cancer and restricted movement.

A healthy person without an existing disease/condition and with a strong immune system has little to fear from the coronavirus no matter their age if they are not a front-line worker.

Evidence is emerging in recent studies that race and BMI are factors that need to be considered for the protection of our front line workers and professionals.

People with ethnicity recorded as black or Asian may have twice the risk of dying if infected compared to people with ethnicity recorded as white.

And compared to people not obese (BMI<30), having a BMI over 40 doubles the risk of dying.

A paper published in the BMJ on May 6th reported “Although the evidence is limited, high infection rates among health workers have been attributed to more frequent contact with infected patients, and higher viral load —the size of the infecting dose of virus

So the take-away is that ethnicity, obesity and contact time are important factors to consider for the protection of front line workers. Hospital officials, nursing homes and senior residence owners take note.

Continue please to “follow the rules” noted in my former blog. That is the best way to protect our front-line workers.

Until next time. . .


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